Opening Statement Main Messages Opening Statement


A New Start for Europe:

My Agenda for Jobs,

Growth, Fairness and

Democratic Change

Political Guidelines

for the next

European Commission

Opening Statement

in the European Parliament

Plenary Session

Jean-Claude Juncker

Candidate for

President of the European Commission

Strasbourg, 15 July 2014

Setting Europe

in Motion

Main Messages

Opening Statement

in the European Parliament

Plenary Session

Jean-Claude Juncker

President-elect of the European Commission

Strasbourg, 22 October 2014

Jean-Claude Juncker

Candidate for

President of the European Commission

A New Start for Europe:

My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness

and Democratic Change

Political Guidelines

for the next European Commission

Opening Statement

in the European Parliament Plenary Session

Strasbourg, 15 July 2014

A New Start for Europe:

My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change

Political Guidelines for the next European Commission

Over the past years, Europe suffered the worst financial and economic crisis since

World War II. Unprecedented measures had to be taken by the EU institutions and

national governments to stabilise Member States’ economies, consolidate public

finances and prevent the results of decades of European integration from being

undone. The worst was avoided. The internal market and the integrity of the Euro

zone were preserved. Slowly but surely, economic growth and confidence are now

returning to Europe.

However, the crisis has taken its toll. More than 6 million people lost their job during

the crisis. Youth unemployment has reached record highs. Several of our Member

States are still far away from sustainable growth and adequate levels of investment.

In many countries, trust in the European project is at a historic low.

The measures taken during the crisis can be compared to repairing a burning plane

whilst flying. They were successful overall. Yet mistakes were made. There was a

lack of social fairness. Democratic legitimacy suffered as many new instruments had

to be created outside the legal framework of the European Union. And, after

spending several years concentrating on crisis management, Europe is finding it is

often ill-prepared for the global challenges ahead, be it with regard to the digital age,

the race for innovation and skills, the scarcity of natural resources, the safety of our

food, the cost of energy, the impact of climate change, the ageing of our population

or the pain and poverty at Europe’s external borders.

As we enter the new legislative cycle following the European Parliament elections in

May 2014, the time has come for a new approach.

As candidate for President of the European Commission, I see it as my key

task to rebuild bridges in Europe after the crisis. To restore European citizens’

confidence. To focus our policies on the key challenges ahead for our

economies and for our societies. And to strengthen democratic legitimacy on

the basis of the Community method.

After having campaigned as the lead candidate of the European People’s Party for

Commission President ahead of the European Parliament elections – next to Martin

Schulz for the Party of European Socialists, Guy Verhofstadt for the Alliance of

Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, Ska Keller and José Bové for the

European Green Party, and Alexis Tsipras for the Party of the European Left – I was

proposed by the European Council as candidate for President of the European

Commission on 27 June 2014. With this proposal, the European Council took


account of the result of the European Parliament elections – in which my party won

the largest number of seats –, after having held appropriate consultations with

representatives of the European Parliament.

For the first time, a direct link has thereby been established between the outcome of

the European Parliament elections and the proposal of the President of the European

Commission. This follows long-standing calls from the European Parliament echoed

and repeated over several decades. It has the potential to insert a very necessary

additional dose of democratic legitimacy into the European decision-making process,

in line with the rules and practices of parliamentary democracy. It also is a unique

opportunity for a fresh start.

After the confrontations of the election campaign, we now need to work together. In

spite of our differences, there is a large convergence of views on the main priorities

to be tackled at European level. And I want to work with all of you to build a broad

consensus, across the EU institutions, on what we need to deliver for Europeans.

And then follow words with action by delivering on what we have agreed.

This is why, after having exchanged views with all political groups of the newly

elected European Parliament, I propose to renew the European Union on the basis of

an Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change. An agenda that

concentrates on the areas where the European Union is able to make a real


My agenda will focus on ten policy areas. My emphasis will be on concrete results in

these ten areas. Beyond that, I will leave other policy areas to the Member States

where they are more legitimate and better equipped to give effective policy

responses at national, regional or local level, in line with the principles of subsidiarity

and proportionality. I want a European Union that is bigger and more ambitious

on big things, and smaller and more modest on small things.


The ten policy areas to be tackled under my Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and

Democratic Change are the following:

1. A New Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment

My first priority as Commission President will be to strengthen Europe’s

competitiveness and to stimulate investment for the purpose of job creation. I intend

to present, within the first three months of my mandate and in the context of the

Europe 2020 review, an ambitious Jobs, Growth and Investment Package.

I do not believe that we can build sustainable growth on ever-growing mountains of

debt – this is the lesson learnt in the crisis that we must now heed. I also know well

that it is mainly companies that create jobs, not governments or EU institutions.

However, I do believe that we can make much better use of the common EU budget

and of Union financial instruments such as the European Investment Bank (EIB). We

must make use of these public funds available at Union level to stimulate private

investment in the real economy. We need smarter investment, more focus, less

regulation and more flexibility when it comes to the use of these public funds. In my

view, this should allow us to mobilise up to € 300 billion in additional public and

private investment in the real economy over the next three years.

For this, the investment environment has to be improved and fund absorption needs

to be strengthened. The preparation of projects by the EIB and the Commission

should be intensified and expanded. New, sustainable and job-creating projects that

will help restore Europe’s competitiveness need to be identified and promoted. To

make real projects happen, we also have to develop more effective financial

instruments, including in the form of loans or guarantees with greater risk capacity. A

further increase in the EIB’s capital should be considered.

The focus of this additional investment should be in infrastructure, notably

broadband and energy networks as well as transport infrastructure in industrial

centres; education, research and innovation; and renewable energy. A

significant amount should be channelled towards projects that can help get the

younger generation back to work in decent jobs, further complementing the efforts

already started with the Youth Guarantee Scheme, the implementation of which

must be accelerated and progressively broadened.

The mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework, scheduled for the

end of 2016, should be used to orient the EU budget further towards jobs, growth and


As regards the use of national budgets for growth and investment, we must – as

reaffirmed by the European Council on 27 June 2014 – respect the Stability and

Growth Pact, while making the best possible use of the flexibility that is built into the

existing rules of the Pact, as reformed in 2005 and 2011. I intend to issue concrete

guidance on this as part of my ambitious Jobs, Growth and Investment Package.

Jobs, growth and investment will only return to Europe if we create the right

regulatory environment and promote a climate of entrepreneurship and job


creation. We must not stifle innovation and competitiveness with too prescriptive and

too detailed regulations, notably when it comes to small and medium sized

enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are the backbone of our economy, creating more than

85% of new jobs in Europe and we have to free them from burdensome regulation.

This is why I intend to entrust the responsibility for better regulation to one of the

Vice-Presidents in my Commission; and to give this Vice-President a mandate to

identify, together with the Parliament and the Council, “red tape” both at European

and at national level that could be swiftly removed as part of my Jobs, Growth and

Investment Package.

2. A Connected Digital Single Market

I believe that we must make much better use of the great opportunities offered by

digital technologies, which know no borders. To do so, we will need to have the

courage to break down national silos in telecoms regulation, in copyright and data

protection legislation, in the management of radio waves and in the application of

competition law.

If we do this, we can ensure that European citizens will soon be able to use their

mobile phones across Europe without having to pay roaming charges. We can

ensure that consumers can access services, music, movies and sports events on

their electronic devices wherever they are in Europe and regardless of borders. We

can create a fair level playing field where all companies offering their goods or

services in the European Union are subject to the same data protection and

consumer rules, regardless of where their server is based. By creating a connected

digital single market, we can generate up to € 250 billion of additional growth in

Europe in the course of the mandate of the next Commission, thereby creating

hundreds of thousands of new jobs, notably for younger job-seekers, and a vibrant

knowledge-based society.

To achieve this, I intend to take, within the first six months of my mandate, ambitious

legislative steps towards a connected digital single market, notably by swiftly

concluding negotiations on common European data protection rules; by adding more

ambition to the ongoing reform of our telecoms rules; by modernising copyright rules

in the light of the digital revolution and changed consumer behaviour; and by

modernising and simplifying consumer rules for online and digital purchases. This

should go hand-in-hand with efforts to boost digital skills and learning across society

and to facilitate the creation of innovative start-ups. Enhancing the use of digital

technologies and online services should become a horizontal policy, covering all

sectors of the economy and of the public sector.

3. A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy

Current geopolitical events have forcefully reminded us that Europe relies too heavily

on fuel and gas imports. I therefore want to reform and reorganise Europe’s energy

policy into a new European Energy Union. We need to pool our resources, combine

our infrastructures and unite our negotiating power vis-à-vis third countries. We need


to diversify our energy sources, and reduce the high energy dependency of several

of our Member States.

I want to keep our European energy market open to our neighbours. However, if the

price for energy from the East becomes too expensive, either in commercial or

in political terms, Europe should be able to switch very swiftly to other supply

channels. We need to be able to reverse energy flows when necessary.

And we need to strengthen the share of renewable energies on our continent. This is

not only a matter of a responsible climate change policy. It is, at the same time, an

industrial policy imperative if we still want to have affordable energy at our disposal in

the medium term. I strongly believe in the potential of green growth. I therefore want

Europe’s Energy Union to become the world number one in renewable


I would also like to significantly enhance energy efficiency beyond the 2020

objective, notably when it comes to buildings, and I am in favour of an

ambitious, binding target to this end. I want the European Union to lead the fight

against global warming ahead of the United Nations Paris meeting in 2015 and

beyond. We owe this to future generations.

4. A Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened Industrial Base

Our internal market is Europe’s best asset in times of increasing globalisation. I

therefore want the next Commission to build on the strength of our single market and

to fully exploit its potential in all its dimensions. We need to complete the internal

market in products and services and make it the launch pad for our companies and

industry to thrive in the global economy, also when it comes to agricultural products.

I firmly believe that we need to maintain and reinforce a strong and high-performing

industrial base for our internal market, as it would be naïve to believe that growth in

Europe could be built on the basis of services alone. We need to bring industry’s

weight in the EU’s GDP back to 20% by 2020, from less than 16% today. This

should ensure that Europe maintains its global leadership in strategic sectors with

high-value jobs such as the automotive, aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals

and pharmaceutical industries. To achieve this, we need to stimulate investment in

new technologies, improve the business environment, ease access to markets and to

finance, particularly for SMEs, and ensure that workers have the skills industry


A continuing priority is to finish fixing the problems of our banking sector and to boost

private investment. I have been a strong supporter of the development of stricter

controls on banks through a Single Supervisory Mechanism and a Single

Resolution Mechanism with a Single Resolution Fund that will be built up

progressively. My Commission will be active and vigilant in ensuring that we

implement the new supervisory and resolution rules fully, making European banks

more robust so that they can get back to lending to the real economy.


Over time, I believe we should complement the new European rules for banks with a

Capital Markets Union. To improve the financing of our economy, we should further

develop and integrate capital markets. This would cut the cost of raising capital,

notably for SMEs, and help reduce our very high dependence on bank funding. This

would also increase the attractiveness of Europe as a place to invest.

Free movement of workers has always been one of the key pillars of the internal

market, which I will defend, while accepting the right of national authorities to fight

abuse or fraudulent claims. I believe that we should see free movement as an

economic opportunity, and not as a threat. We should therefore promote labour

mobility, especially in fields with persistent vacancies and skills mismatches. At the

same time, I will ensure that the Posting of Workers Directive is strictly

implemented, and I will initiate a targeted review of this Directive to ensure that social

dumping has no place in the European Union. In our Union, the same work at the

same place should be remunerated in the same manner.

We need more fairness in our internal market. While recognising the competence of

Member States for their taxation systems, we should step up our efforts to combat

tax evasion and tax fraud, so that all contribute their fair share. I will notably press

ahead with administrative cooperation between tax authorities and work for the

adoption at EU level of a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and a Financial

Transaction Tax. The proposed reinforced Union rules against money laundering

should be adopted swiftly, and with an ambitious content, notably when it comes to

the identification of beneficial owners and improving customer due diligence.

5. A Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union

Over the next five years, I want to continue with the reform of our Economic and

Monetary Union to preserve the stability of our single currency and to enhance the

convergence of economic, fiscal and labour market policies between the Member

States that share the single currency. I will do this on the basis of the “Four

Presidents Reports” and the Commission’s Blueprint for a Deep and Genuine

Economic and Monetary Union, and always with Europe’s social dimension in mind.

The crisis has only been paused. We must make use of this pause to consolidate and

complement the unprecedented measures we have taken during the crisis, simplify

them and make them more socially legitimate. The stability of our single currency and

the solidity of public finances are as important to me as social fairness in

implementing necessary structural reforms.

I want to launch legislative and non-legislative initiatives to deepen our

Economic and Monetary Union during the first year of my mandate. These would

include a stability-oriented review of the “six-pack” and the “two-pack legislation” (as

foreseen in this legislation); proposals to encourage further structural reforms, if

necessary through additional financial incentives and a targeted fiscal capacity at

Euro zone level; and a proposal for a more efficient external representation of our

Economic and Monetary Union.


In the medium-term, I believe we need to re-balance the way in which we grant

conditional stability support to Euro zone countries in difficulties. In the future, we

should be able to replace the “troika” with a more democratically legitimate and

more accountable structure, based around European institutions with enhanced

parliamentary control both at European and at national level. I also propose that, in

the future, any support and reform programme goes not only through a fiscal

sustainability assessment; but through a social impact assessment as well. The

social effects of structural reforms need to be discussed in public. I am a strong

believer in the social market economy. It is not compatible with the social market

economy that during a crisis, ship-owners and speculators become even richer, while

pensioners can no longer support themselves.

6. A Reasonable and Balanced Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.

Under my presidency, the Commission will negotiate a reasonable and balanced

trade agreement with the United States of America, in a spirit of mutual and

reciprocal benefits and transparency. It is anachronistic that, in the 21st century,

Europeans and Americans still impose customs duties on each other’s products.

These should be swiftly and fully abolished. I also believe that we can go a significant

step further in recognising each other’s product standards or working towards

transatlantic standards.

However, as Commission President, I will also be very clear that I will not sacrifice

Europe’s safety, health, social and data protection standards or our cultural

diversity on the altar of free trade. Notably, the safety of the food we eat and the

protection of Europeans' personal data will be non-negotiable for me as Commission

President. Nor will I accept that the jurisdiction of courts in the EU Member States is

limited by special regimes for investor disputes. The rule of law and the principle of

equality before the law must also apply in this context.

I will insist on enhanced transparency towards the European Parliament – which

will, under the EU Treaties, have the last word on the conclusion of the agreement –

during all steps of the negotiations.

7. An Area of Justice and Fundamental Rights Based on Mutual Trust

Our European Union is more than a big common market. It is also a Union of shared

values, which are spelled out in the Treaties and in the Charter of Fundamental

Rights. Citizens expect their governments to provide justice, protection and fairness

with full respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law. This also requires joint

European action, based on our shared values.

I intend to make use of the prerogatives of the Commission to uphold, within our field

of competence, our shared values and fundamental rights, while taking due account

of the diversity of constitutional and cultural traditions of the 28 Member States. I

intend to entrust a Commissioner with specific responsibility for the Charter of

Fundamental Rights. This Commissioner will also have the responsibility of


concluding the accession of the Union to the European Convention of Human

Rights, which is an obligation under the EU Treaty.

Discrimination must have no place in our Union, whether on the basis of nationality,

sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, or

with regard to people belonging to a minority. I will therefore maintain the proposal for

a directive in this field and seek to convince national governments to give up their

current resistance in the Council.

Data protection is a fundamental right of particular importance in the digital age. In

addition to swiftly finalising the legislative work on common data protection rules

within the European Union, we also need to uphold this right in our external relations.

In view of recent mass surveillance revelations, close partners such as the United

States must convince us that the current safe harbour arrangements really are safe if

they want them to continue. They must also guarantee that all EU citizens have the

right to enforce data protection rights in U.S. courts, whether or not they reside on

U.S. soil. This will be essential for restoring trust in transatlantic relations.

Combating cross-border crime and terrorism is a common European

responsibility. We need to crack down on organised crime, such as human trafficking,

smuggling and cybercrime. We must tackle corruption; and we must fight terrorism

and counter radicalisation – all the while guaranteeing fundamental rights and values,

including procedural rights and the protection of personal data.

As citizens increasingly study, work, do business, get married and have children

across the Union, judicial cooperation among EU Member States must be

improved step by step: by building bridges between the different justice systems, by

strengthening common tools such as Eurojust; by making progress on new tools such

as the European Public Prosecutor’s Office which is designed to tackle criminal fraud

which damages the EU budget; and by mutual recognition of judgements, so that

citizens and companies can more easily exercise their rights across the Union.

8. Towards a New Policy on Migration

The recent terrible events in the Mediterranean have shown us that Europe needs to

manage migration better, in all aspects. This is first of all a humanitarian imperative. I

am convinced that we must work closely together in a spirit of solidarity to ensure

that situations such as the one in Lampedusa never arise again.

On the basis of our shared values, we need to protect those in need through a strong

common asylum policy. The newly agreed common asylum system has to be fully

implemented, and divergences in national implementation removed. I also intend to

explore the possibility of using the European Asylum Support Office to assist third

countries and Member States authorities in dealing with refugees and asylum

requests in emergency situations, where appropriate on the ground in a third country

that is particularly concerned.

I want to promote a new European policy on legal migration. Such a policy could

help us to address shortages of specific skills and attract talent to better cope with


the demographic challenges of the European Union. I want Europe to become at

least as attractive as the favourite migration destinations such as Australia, Canada

and the USA. As a first step, I intend to review the “Blue Card” legislation and its

unsatisfactory state of implementation.

I also believe that we need to deal more robustly with irregular migration, notably

through better cooperation with third countries, including on readmission.

I will entrust a Commissioner with special responsibility for Migration to work on

this together with all Member States and with the third countries most concerned.

Last but not least, we need to secure Europe’s borders. Our common asylum and

migration policies will only work if we can prevent an uncontrolled influx of illegal

migrants. We therefore need to step up the operational capacities of the European

border agency FRONTEX. A budget of just EUR 90 million a year certainly does not

equal the task of protecting Europe’s common borders. We need to pool more

resources amongst Member States to reinforce the work of FRONTEX and put

European Border Guard Teams into action for quick deployment in FRONTEX joint

operations and rapid border interventions. This is the joint responsibility of all EU

Member States, North and South, which needs to be taken up in a spirit of solidarity.

We also need to apply and vigorously enforce our new common European rules to

penalise human traffickers. Criminals who exploit the pain and needs of people in

distress or suffering from persecution need to know: Europe is on guard and will bring

them to justice at every turn.

9. A Stronger Global Actor

We need a stronger Europe when it comes to foreign policy. The Ukraine crisis and

the worrying situation in the Middle East show how important it is that Europe is

united externally. There is still a long way to go.

I believe we cannot be satisfied with how our common foreign policy is working at the

moment. We need better mechanisms in place to anticipate events early and to

swiftly identify common responses. We need to be more effective in bringing together

the tools of Europe’s external action. Trade policy, development aid, our participation

in international financial institutions and our neighbourhood policy must be combined

and activated according to one and the same logic.

The next High Representative for Europe’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

will have to a be strong and experienced player to combine national and European

tools, and all the tools available in the Commission, in a more effective way than in

the past. He or she must act in concert with our European Commissioners for Trade,

Development and Humanitarian Aid as well as for Neighbourhood Policy. This will

require the High Representative to more fully play his/her role within the College of

Commissioners. To make this possible, I intend to entrust other external relations

Commissioners with the task of deputising for the High Representative both within

the work of the College and on the international stage.


I also believe that we need to work on a stronger Europe when it comes to security

and defence matters. Yes, Europe is chiefly a ‘soft power’. But even the strongest

soft powers cannot make do in the long run without at least some integrated defence

capacities. The Treaty of Lisbon provides for the possibility that those Member States

who wish to can pool their defence capabilities in the form of a permanent structured

cooperation. This means those Member States who wish to can engage in joint EU

missions in crisis zones if needed, as would have been necessary from the start in

Mali or in South Sudan. Member States should also create more synergies in

defence procurement. In times of scarce resources, we need to match ambitions with

resources to avoid duplication of programmes. More than 80% of investment in

defence equipment is still spent nationally today in the EU. More cooperation in

defence procurement is therefore the call of the day, and if only for fiscal reasons.

When it comes to enlargement, I fully recognise that this has been an historic

success that brought peace and stability to our continent. However, the Union and

our citizens now need to digest the addition of 13 Member States in the past ten

years. The EU needs to take a break from enlargement so that we can consolidate

what has been achieved among the 28. This is why, under my Presidency of the

Commission, ongoing negotiations will continue, and notably the Western Balkans

will need to keep a European perspective, but no further enlargement will take

place over the next five years. With countries in our Eastern neighbourhood such

as Moldova or Ukraine, we need to step up close cooperation, association and

partnership to further strengthen our economic and political ties.

10. A Union of Democratic Change

The proposal and election of the President of the European Commission in the light

of the outcome of the European Parliament elections is certainly important, but only a

first step in making the European Union as a whole more democratic. A European

Commission under my leadership will be committed to filling the special partnership

with the European Parliament, as laid down in the Framework Agreement of 2010,

with new life. I want to have a political dialogue with you, not a technocratic one.

I intend to always send political representatives of the Commission to important

trilogue negotiations and I expect the Council to do the same.

I am also committed to enhanced transparency when it comes to contact with

stakeholders and lobbyists. Our citizens have the right to know with whom

Commissioners and Commission staff, Members of the European Parliament or

representatives of the Council meet in the context of the legislative process. I will

therefore propose an Inter-institutional Agreement to Parliament and Council to

create a mandatory lobby register covering all three institutions. The Commission will

lead by example in this process.

I also intend to review the legislation applicable to the authorisation of

Genetically Modified Organisms. To me, it is simply not right that under the current

rules, the Commission is legally forced to authorise new organisms for import and

processing even though a clear majority of Member States is against. The

Commission should be in a position to give the majority view of democratically


elected governments at least the same weight as scientific advice, notably when it

comes to the safety of the food we eat and the environment in which we live.

The relationship with national Parliaments is of great importance to me, notably

when it comes to enforcing the principle of subsidiarity. I will explore ways to improve

the interaction with national Parliaments as a way of bringing the European Union

closer to citizens.

* * *

If elected Commission President, my Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and

Democratic Change will serve as the starting point for the Union’s annual and

multiannual programming. For this, we will also be able to draw on the ‘Strategic

Agenda for the Union in Times of Change’, as adopted by the European Council on

27 June 2014, and on the orientations that will be given by the European Parliament

in the months to come.

I believe that Europe’s policy agenda must be shaped in close partnership between

the European Commission and the European Parliament, and in cooperation with the

Member States. Political prioritisation as the basis for a better, more focused

Union will only work if it is done in partnership between the Union institutions

and the Member States, in line with the Community method.

The role of the President of the Commission is to defend the general European

interest. This involves working with everyone – whether in the euro or not, whether in

the Schengen agreement or outside, whether supportive of deeper integration or not.

My firm conviction is that we must move forward as a Union. We do not necessarily

all have to move at the same speed – the Treaties provide for that and we have

seen that we can work with different arrangements. Those who want to move further,

faster, should be able to do so. This is particularly important in the Euro zone, where

we need to continue to strengthen the foundations of the euro through deeper

integration. And this should be done in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the

single market and to protect the rights of those outside the Euro zone. As in any

family, there will be tensions and disagreements from time to time. I made clear

throughout my campaign that I am ready to listen to the concerns of every Member

State and to help find solutions.

I intend to refocus the work of the new Commission on the basis of my Agenda for

Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change and its ten priorities. I intend to

organise the new Commission in a way that reflects these ten priority areas and

ensures swift and effective delivery on all of them.

I will do my utmost to ensure a gender-balanced choice of leading personnel in

the Commission, both at political and at administrative level. Gender balance is

not a luxury; it is a political must and should be self evident to everybody, including to

the leaders in all capitals of our Member States when it comes to their proposal for

the choice of members of the next Commission. This is in itself a test for the

commitment of the governments of Member States to a new, more democratic

approach in times of change.


On the basis of my Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change and

its ten priorities, I am today seeking election by the European Parliament. The larger

the majority that supports me and my agenda today, the stronger will my hand be in

forming the next Commission, and the more effective I will be in delivering swiftly on

this agenda.

“This time it’s different” was the European Parliament’s motto for the election

campaign. Let us jointly show that we are able to make this promise a reality. That

together we are able to really change and renew Europe. And that we will jointly work

to re-gain citizens’ trust in the European project. I will do my utmost to make this


Jean-Claude Juncker


A new start for Europe

Opening Statement in the European Parliament Plenary Session

Strasbourg, 15 July 2014

On 25 May the voters of Europe spoke to us. They sent us powerful, if sometimes

contradictory, messages. Today, and in the years to come, we have to respond. That

means meeting their expectations and addressing their concerns, their hopes and

their dreams. Because in Europe there is a place for dreams. It is here, in the

European Parliament, the seat of European democracy, that I will set out the broad

lines of the work of the new Commission. These broad lines – this outline, if you will

– has been sent to you in writing in all the official languages, because all languages

have the same dignity. And I would like to thank the translators who worked through

the night on a text that I finalised late yesterday evening. The Commission's detailed

work programme will be a product of the College as a whole and you will be asked to

place your seal on it with your vote in the autumn.

This Parliament, which has just started its term in office, is different from its

predecessors. You are the first Parliament to truly elect, in all senses of the word,

the President of the Commission. You will elect him in a new spirit. In the aftermath

of the elections, you insisted that the results, produced by universal suffrage, had to

be taken into account. By so doing, you gave Article 17(7) of the Lisbon Treaty its

true democratic and political meaning. If you had not stood firm, that Article would

have forever remained a dead letter. You stood up for democracy, and you were

right to do so. A Parliament which upholds democracy is performing a noble task and

does not deserve to be subjected to bitter, unjustified criticism or to have its motives

unfairly challenged. I should also like to thank the other front runners, or

'Spitzenkandidaten', who helped to ensure that our democratic debate was a lively

one. If the political group of one of the other front runners had won the election, I

would have been the first to call on this assembly to entrust that person with the task

of setting up the new Commission.


The European Parliament and the Commission are both Community institutions par

excellence. It's therefore only right that the President of the Commission and the

President of European Parliament, on the one hand, and European Parliament and

the Commission on the other, should have a special working relationship with each

other. We will be Community players, not working against the European Council or

against the Council of Ministers. We are not building Europe in opposition to

countries or nations, which are not a footnote in history but here to stay. We,

Parliament and Commission, will act in the general interest, and I want us to do it


The European Council proposes the President of the Commission. That does not

mean he is its secretariat. The Commission is not a technical committee made up of

civil servants who implement the instructions of another institution. The Commission

is political. And I want it to be more political. Indeed, it will be highly political. Its

make-up must reflect the plurality of the majority of ideas which take shape. When

the European Council organises its internal structure, I hope it will be inspired by the

same principle.

The President of the Commission is elected by your assembly. That does not mean

he is at your beck and call; I'm not going to be the European Parliament's lackey. But

do not doubt for one moment my willingness to remove a Commissioner who no

longer benefits from your trust, or my willingness to take action, in principle by way of

a legislative proposal, when you call on me to do so.

In similar vein, no restrictions will be placed on the right to pose questions. The

same arrangements will continue to apply.

I intend to ask the Commissioners to be present more often at key moments of

important 'trilogues' and I would like the Council to be there too. I will ensure that the

lobbyist register is made public and mandatory. I would like ordinary people in

Europe to know who has been to see who, and who has spoken to whom, and I

would like the other institutions to follow suit.

I will make sure that the procedural rules governing the various authorisations for

GMOs are reviewed. I would not want the Commission to be able to take a decision

when a majority of Member States has not encouraged it to do so.

In general, let us avoid ideological debates which only sow division. Let us replace

them by virtuous debates based on strongly-held beliefs and far-reaching ambitions.

Let us opt for a pragmatic approach. Let us focus our efforts on achieving tangible

results which benefit all Europeans. Let us not try the public's patience by indulging

in institutional debates which prevent us from focusing on what really matters - the

people of Europe. And I call on governments to try harder to resist the temptation,

when they address their national electorates, to criticise decisions that they actually

took together in Brussels.

If you said 'yes' in Brussels, don't say 'no' elsewhere. And never again say after a

Council meeting that you won and the others lost. In Europe we win together, and

we lose together too.

If Europe seems hard to understand, it is because, all too often, we caricature it. Let

us put national navel-gazing to bed. In Europe we should play as a team. Let us

apply the Community method. Yes, it is demanding, but it is effective, it is tried and

tested and it is more credible than intergovernmental wrangling. We need to restore

the Community method.


Europe has lost some of its credibility.

The gap between the European Union and its citizens is widening. One has to be

really deaf and blind not to see this.

Very often, the European Union finds itself with some explaining to do, and many

times under pressure to deliver when it comes to explaining Europe better.

Europe needs a broad-based agenda for reform.

The status quo does not provide us with a full range of tools. It has to be extended.

People are often afraid of reforms. They find them threatening and risky. But taking

no risks is far riskier. We must take risks in order to make Europe more competitive.

As the European Union, we have lost some of our international and global


We have fallen behind because we have stood still. Now we must fight to get ahead


Competitiveness is often confused with one-sided social regression but

competitiveness is not achieved through social regression. Competitiveness is

achieved by developing a broad range of approaches. Competitiveness is essential

to make the European Union a more attractive location. A location for people, for


This includes the principle that the economy has to serve the people and not the

other way round. The economy must serve the people.

This means that internal market provisions cannot be valued more highly than social

provisions, which would otherwise just be minimum standards. The internal market

does not automatically have priority; social factors must also play a role in Europe.

I am an enthusiastic supporter of the social market economy. 'Prosperity for all' was

what Ludwig Erhardt said. Not 'prosperity for just a few'. 'Prosperity for all' must be

the maxim followed in both economic and social policies alike. In view of the crisis,

people often say that the social market economy has failed. It is not the social

market economy which has failed but those who, out of greed for profit, for money

and for easy money, have disregarded the cardinal virtues of the social market


The social market economy can only work if there is social dialogue. Social dialogue

suffered during the crisis years. Now it must be resumed at national and especially

at European level. I would like to be a President of social dialogue.

To keep a place attractive, you need growth, not recovery plans funded by borrowing

which generate short-term effects with no long-term impact on the labour market.

What we need is sustained growth over decades. What we need is an ambitious

package for employment, growth, investment and competitiveness. Why do we need

this? Because we have to draw many people in Europe back to Europe, back into

the centre of things. Growth packages, competitiveness packages, investment

programmes all have one aim which is to bring people back into the centre of


A 29th state is currently emerging within the borders of the European Union. It is the

state where people without jobs live. A state in which young people became

unemployed; a state in which we see people excluded, set back and left by the

wayside. I would like this 29th Member State to become a normal Member State


again. This is why I am proposing an ambitious investment programme. By February

2015, I would like to have put forward this ambitious package for growth, investment,

competitiveness and jobs.

I would like us to mobilise EUR 300 billion in public and above all private

investments over the next three years. We will do this and I would be grateful if the

European Parliament would support me on this path. We can do this through the

targeted use of the existing structural funds and of the European Investment Bank

instruments already in place or to be developed. We need coordinated investment in

infrastructure projects; investments in the field of broadband, in energy networks,

and we need investments in transport infrastructure in the centres of industry. We

need a reindustrialisation of Europe. We also need investments in the industrial

sector, in research, development and renewable energies. Renewable energies are

not just the purview of ecological do-gooders. Renewable energies and their

development is a sine qua non if tomorrow's Europe really is going to create lasting,

consistent and sustainable locational advantages which are directly comparable with

those of other world players.

If Europe invests more, Europe will be more prosperous and create more jobs.

Investments are the best allies of the unemployed. In parallel with that, we must

develop the Youth Guarantee. I would like us to gradually raise the age limit from 25

to 30. Investments can only be made in a target-oriented fashion if we actually make

progress on reducing red tape, especially in relation to small and medium-sized


Small businesspeople are not big money men. Small businesspeople work hard and

create jobs. We must do more for small businesspeople, especially by resolutely

eliminating bureaucratic over-regulation. We must deliver in applying the principle of

subsidiarity. Since the Maastricht Treaty, we have been talking about the correct

application of the subsidiarity principle. What we are doing, however, is not sufficient.

Our speeches last longer than our efforts to make real headway in reducing red

tape, and to ensure that the European Commission - and the European Union -

concerns itself with the really major European issues instead of interfering from all

angles in every detail of people's lives. Not every problem that exists in Europe is a

problem for the European Union. We must take care of the big issues.

All this must of course be put in place in line with the Stability Pact. We will not

change the main elements of the Stability and Growth Pact. The European Council

decided this. I will stick to this in the coming years.

Stability was promised when the single currency was introduced. Stability is not just

an entry requirement but an ongoing requirement. Stability was promised. Europe

cannot break its promises. I will not break them.

However, the European Council correctly established that we should also use the

margins of flexibility which the Stability Pact as reformed in 2005 and 2011 contains

in order to maximise the growth factor. We have done this in the past and we will do

this to a greater extent in the future. Which brings me to my concern that what we

have initiated and achieved in the past should not be underestimated. I was

President of the Eurogroup and am glad that I no longer am. It was really no

laughing matter. I would also hazard a doubt as to whether the job for which I am

applying today will be more agreeable. However, during the crisis, which was not a

crisis of the euro but a debt crisis, we had to repair a burning plane whilst flying. This

was not easy and does not meet all the demands of great statesmanship or rules of


sophisticated political aesthetics but we did manage to keep the whole Eurozone


A little over a year ago, speculators of every provenance were wagering that the

Eurozone would collapse. That did not happen. Bets were placed in many financial

centres that Greece would leave the Eurozone.

I did all I could, and I am proud that Greece, this capable people, this great nation, is

still a member of the European Economic and Monetary Union.

But we also made mistakes. Repairing a burning plane mid-air is no simple matter;

you sometimes get your fingers burnt.

If, in the future, further economic adjustment programmes were to be introduced

(although I see no need why this should be the case in the next few years), I would

like to see a very rigorous social impact study carried out before any adjustment

programme is implemented. I would like to know how adjustment programmes

impact on people's lives. In future there will be no adjustment programmes unless

they are preceded by a thorough social impact assessment.

I would be glad if we had a plan B whenever adjustment programmes are on the

agenda. A plan B we could refer to if macro-economic predictions prove incorrect. If

there is less growth in a country than the basis of an adjustment programme

demands, then it must be possible to adjust the adjustment programme. I am

therefore in favour of setting out a parallel plan B.

I would like us to reconsider the instrument of the Troika.

The European Parliament has stated in reports on the subject that the Troika as it

works at present lacks democratic substance. It does lack democratic substance; it

lacks a parliamentary dimension. We must review the Ttroika and make it more

democratic, more parliamentary and more political. We will do this.

We cannot spend money we do not have. We have to replace deficits and debts by

ideas. The ideas are there: we must make better use of the opportunities of the

digital technology which knows no borders. We must break down national silos in

telecommunication regulations, in copyright and in data protection standards. We

have to break down national silos as far as the management of radio waves is

concerned. We must knock down these barriers, these hurdles to growth. Roaming

charges in Europe have to disappear and they will disappear. If we are successful in

implementing a real digital single market, we can generate €250 billion of additional

growth in Europe. We will do it.

We need, as it was so often said during the Ukrainian crisis, a resilient energy union

with a forward-looking climate change policy. We have to reorganise Europe’s

energy policy into a new European Energy Union. We need to pool resources,

combine infrastructures, and unite our negotiating power vis-à-vis third countries. We

need to diversify our energy sources and reduce the high energy dependency of

several of our member states.

I want the European Union to become the world number one in renewables. We will

contribute significantly to enhancing energy efficiency beyond the 2020 objective

notably when it comes to buildings. A binding 30 % objective for energy efficiency by

2030 is to me the minimum if we want to be credible and forward-looking. We cannot

pretend to be the leader as far as climate change policy is concerned if we do not

become more credible when it comes to energy efficiency.


The internal market has to be completed. If we are successful in this, we will add

another €200 billion of added value to the European economy. We have to do it.

We have to complement the new European rules for banks with a Capital Markets

Union. To improve the financing of our economy, we should further develop and

integrate capital markets. This would cut the cost of raising capital, particularly for

small and medium-size enterprises.

Free movement of workers has always been one of the key-pillars of the internal

market. I will defend that principle.

Free movement is an opportunity, not a threat. The rules will not be changed. It will

be up to national authorities to fight against abuse or fraudulent claims. I will initiate

a targeted review of the Posting of Workers directive and of its implementation. We

have to fight social dumping and we will do it.

I will combat tax evasion and tax fraud. I am in favour of the adoption at EU level of a

Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and a Financial Transaction Tax. We

have to fight against money laundering and we will do it.

With regard to economic and monetary union, let us not lose sight of the fact that the

crisis is not over.

The crisis is not over.

The crisis is not over as long as there are 25 million men and women out of work.

The crisis will be over when full employment has been restored. And if we are going

to do that, we need closer coordination of our economic policies. We need to

establish economic governance. And we will. We must continue to insist that the

necessary structural reforms, which in the medium term, will help to boost European

economic growth, are put in place. If the members of the economic and monetary

union make a concerted effort, then we should consider financial incentives to

accompany that process. We should consider giving the Eurozone its own budget


It is absurd for one of the strongest currencies in the world to be represented by any

number of different parties who very often contradict each other, and we should put

a stop to it. I want the Economic and Monetary Union, and the euro, to be

represented by a single chair and a single voice in the Bretton Woods institutions.

While I'm on the subject of Bretton Woods, I would like to say a few words on the

free trade agreement with the United States. I am in favour of concluding this

agreement. It is my view that the two largest economic areas and the two biggest

democracies in the world can work together in the interests of Americans and

Europeans alike. That said, the agreement will not be concluded at any price. We

cannot abandon our health standards. We cannot abandon our social standards. We

cannot abandon our data protection standard. I would not want data protection to

form part of the negotiations with our American friends. Nor would I want parallel,

secret courts set up. We are areas governed by the rule of law, so, in the United

States and in Europe, let us apply the law.

And let us ensure that these negotiations are as transparent as possible. I say this to

you: if we do not publish the relevant documents – and I do not mean documents on

negotiating strategies – this agreement will fail. It will not be accepted by public

opinion, it will not be accepted by this Parliament, it will not be accepted by our

national parliaments if there is a mixed agreement. So let us be more transparent,


ecause in fact we have nothing to hide. Let us not give the impression that we are

not being upfront, let us operate transparently and make the documents public.

The European Union is a union built on values. And we are credible to the outside

world if we demand high standards of ourselves when it comes to fundamental

values. I will appoint a Commissioner who will be in charge of applying the Charter of

Fundamental Rights. I would like the EU to join the Council of Europe’s European

Convention on Human Rights at the earliest opportunity.

The Anti-Discrimination Directive will remain on the table and I will try to persuade

the Council to adopt at least the core proposals as soon as possible.

Legal immigration and illegal immigration concern our fellow citizens on an almost

daily basis. We need a common asylum policy, and I will put one forward. We need

to think about the legal immigration that Europe will sorely need over the next five

years. Let us do just as well as the United States, Canada and Australia. We can

achieve what they have always managed to achieve.

Let us protect our external borders. Let us protect our external borders. Let us

combat the criminal groups who make money off of other people's misery. Let us

help would-be immigrants in their own countries, before they get on a boat to cross

the Mediterranean. And let us establish better solidarity between Northern and

Southern Europe. Illegal immigration and the refugee crisis are not the problems of

Malta, Cyprus, Italy or Greece, they are the problems of Europe as a whole.

I do not want to say a great deal about foreign policy. We urgently need a common

foreign and security policy. It would be fine by me if the High Representative of the

Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy were no longer thwarted by the Foreign

Ministers of the Member States and I will ensure this does not happen. A common

foreign policy also needs a common external image.

The High Representative, with a very broad own remit, will be supported by

Commissioners responsible for other sectors.

In defence matters, it is not about establishing the European Union as an alternative

model to NATO. Both have to work together and cooperate. In the defence sector

we must have enhanced cooperation which the Lisbon Treaty also provides for. On

procurement, in particular, we need to work together more rather than against each

other, to obtain what we both need.

In the next five years, no new members will be joining us in the European Union. As

things now stand, it is inconceivable that any of the candidate countries with whom

we are now negotiating will be able to meet all the membership criteria down to

every detail by 2019. However, the negotiations will be continued and other

European nations and European countries need a credible and honest European

perspective. This applies especially to the Western Balkans. This tragic European

region needs a European perspective. Otherwise the old demons of the past will


I would have liked to speak to you in greater detail about the industrial policy that we

will need to set up in Europe to boost industry's share of European GDP to 20%. I

would have liked to speak to you in greater detail about Ukraine, whose people I

salute today. We believe that Ukraine is a European nation and that its place is in



I would have liked to explain to you in detail why I believe it is necessary for all

EU Member States to put in place a minimum wage and basic guaranteed income.

We will take action to achieve that end.

I would have liked to spell out my belief that services of general interest and public

services should be safeguarded and cannot be subject to the fashionable whims of

the day. Let us stand up for public services in Europe!

I would have liked to speak to you about Africa, a continent so often unhappy and

forgotten. But a continent which is rich in resources, particularly human resources.

Let us not forget Africa and let us end the appalling scandal, the absolute tragedy in

which a man dies of hunger every six seconds and 25 000 children die of hunger

every single day. As long as 25 000 children are dying of hunger every day, Europe

will still have work to do. Europe has a responsibility to change this situation.

Yes, we have to start afresh, we have to hear the people who spoke to us on

25 May. But the time is not ripe for a revolution. And it is not ripe for a counterrevolution

either. If we want Europeans to fall in love with their Europe again, let's tell

them we are proud of Europe. Let's tell them we are proud of what we have achieved

in the last few decades.

It is often claimed that the question of war or peace has been settled for good. But in

reality, an unhealthy vacillation between war and peace is still part of Europe's

present. Indeed, as we have just seen in the border regions of the EU, peace is not a

permanent fixture of our continent.

We should be proud of our fathers' and mothers' generation, of our grandparents'

generation, who, when they came back from the battlefields and the concentration

camps, prayed time and time again that there would be no more war - a political

programme which has proven its worth. Yes, we owe our forefathers a great deal.

Let us be proud that in the 1990s we were able to make a success of enlargement,

to reconcile European history and geography and to put an end to the disastrous

post-war order whereby Europe was divided in two, seemingly for ever. We reunited

European geography and history not by force but by conviction, and I would like to

pay homage to those in Central and Eastern Europe who decided to take history into

their own hands. Not to be victims of history, but to make history. And by the way, let

us end this talk about 'old' and 'new' Member States. There are Member States. Full


And let us be proud that we set up the single currency. The single currency does not

divide Europe, it protects Europe.

I was my country's Finance Minister for twenty years. Every six months I had to

travel to Brussels to organise monetary realignments. Every six months I

experienced 'live and in colour' just how dangerous monetary disorder was for the

European economy. On very many occasions I witnessed the loss of dignity

experienced by a state which had to devalue its currency to remain competitive. I

witnessed terrible scenes in which states which needed to boost the external value

of their currency agonised over losing markets, and states which needed to devalue

were stricken by the fear of a massive incursion and a disorderly return of inflation.

If we had still had the European monetary system when the events in Ukraine

erupted and when the economic and financial crisis struck and Europe became the

epicentre of a worldwide battle, Europe today would be in the throes of monetary


war. France against Germany, Germany against Italy, Italy against Portugal and

Spain, and so on and so forth. Thanks to the discipline and the ambitions of the

euro, we have a monetary order which protects us. The euro protects Europe.

Greece, let us not forget, did not want to leave the eurozone. And we did not want

Greece to leave either.

If we had not done what we did in the last few decades, if we had not made Europe

a peaceful continent, if we had not reconciled European history and geography, if we

had not set up the single currency and if we had not established the world's largest

internal market in Europe, where would we be now? We would be nobodies, we

would be weak, we would be defenceless. Today, thanks to the hard work and

convictions of our predecessors, Europe is a continent which ensures that its

inhabitants can live in peace and relative prosperity.

I do not want a Europe stuck on the sidelines of history. I do not want a Europe

which watches while other powers take action and move forward. I want a Europe at

the heart of the action, a Europe which moves forward, a Europe which exists,

protects, wins and serves as a model for others. In order to make that happen, let us

draw inspiration from the principles and convictions handed down to us by the great

Europeans who were there at a time when we were still nowhere. Allow me to pay

homage to Jacques Delors, a great President of the European Commission. True,

not everyone can be a Delors, but he is my teacher and my friend, and his work will

inspire me every day. I would also like to pay homage to François Mitterrand, who

said that nationalism leads to war. Mitterrand was right.

And I want to pay homage to Helmut Kohl, the greatest European I ever had the

good fortune to meet.

Let us follow their example: they had patience, courage and determination. We

should have the same courage, the same determination, the same patience. We

should have the courage, the patience and the determination that long journeys and

big ambitions demand.

We can do great things together for Europe, for Europeans and for the whole world.

Thank you for your attention.


Jean-Claude Juncker

President-elect of the European Commission

Setting Europe in Motion:

President-elect Juncker's Main Messages

from his speech before the European


Statement in the European Parliament plenary session

ahead of the vote on the College

Strasbourg, 22 October 2014


Setting Europe in Motion: President-elect Juncker's Main

Messages from his speech before the European Parliament

Statement in the European Parliament plenary session ahead of the

vote on the College

Time for Action

"From Ukraine to Syria, to the Middle East and North Africa, our neighbourhood

remains shaky and unstable. Scores of immigrants arriving at Europe's external

frontiers in search of a better future remind us of the need to reconcile the quest of

solidarity with the demand for safe borders. And cross-border health threats like the

Ebola epidemic have seized citizens with an understandable degree of fear.

We cannot and will not sweep these mounting problems under the carpet. We

cannot and will not turn a blind eye. That is why I insist that the time for European

action is now. That is why I state loud and clear in front of this House that Europe's

problems cannot be put on the back burner."

Breaking out of Silo Mentalities

"When I presented my new team on 10 September, I wanted to show that I wish to

deliver quickly and effectively. That is why my Commission will not only look different

but will also work differently. Not as the sum of its parts, but as a team. Not through

silo mentalities, clusters and portfolio frontiers, but as a collegiate, political body. I

want a political, executive Commission at the service of the common good and of

Europe's citizens."

Addressing Concerns

"The hearings have revealed a broad consensus around the team that I have

proposed. You have, however, also expressed some concerns – during the hearings

and in your contacts with me. I am ready to swiftly address the issues that you

identified as relevant to the functioning of the new Commission.

I listened to you carefully and will briefly explain how I want to address your

concerns on a number of issues:

1. A new Slovenian Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, passed her hearing in

record time. This was possible thanks to the portfolio changes completed

without any delay. Violeta will be responsible for the Transport portfolio,

while Maroš Šefčovič, an experienced member of the outgoing Commission,

will be Vice-President in charge of Energy Union.

2. I have decided to enlarge Frans Timmermans' remit to include the

horizontal responsibility for sustainable development. As you know,

sustainable development is a principle enshrined in the EU Treaties (Article 3

TEU) and should thus be taken into account by all institutions in all their

actions and policies. It is also part of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

for which Frans is horizontally in charge. Sustainability and environmental

concerns are important to our citizens. We have the tools to address them in

the new Commission: with powerful green portfolios that have big budgets

and regulatory teeth.


3. Responsibility for medicines and pharmaceutical products will stay

with the Directorate-General for Health because I agree with you that

medicines are not goods like any other. The relevant policy will be developed

jointly by Vytenis Andriukaitis and by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, who showed her

incredible talents in her hearing.

4. Space policy can make an important contribution to the further

development of a strong industrial basis in Europe – one of the priorities of my

Commission. It is for this reason that I have decided it will remain in the remit

of the Directorate-General for the Internal Market and Industry, in the safe

hands of Elżbieta Bieńkowska.

5. Last but not least, I have decided to place Citizenship under the

responsibility of Dimitris Avramopoulos Commissioner in charge of Migration

and Home Affairs – issues, very close to the heart of Europe's citizens – who

will work in close cooperation on this matter with Justice and Consumers

Commissioner Vera Jourova. I wish at the same time to reiterate my

confidence and trust in Tibor Navracsics who performed excellently in his

hearing and demonstrated a strong European commitment – which is why you

considered him qualified as Commissioner."

Investor-to-state disputes

I took note of the intense debates around investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in

the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. Let me

once again state my position clearly, that I had set out on 15 July in front of this

House and that you will find in my Political Guidelines: My Commission will not

accept that the jurisdiction of courts in the EU Member States be limited by special

regimes for investor-to-state disputes. The rule of law and the principle of equality

before the law must also apply in this context.

The negotiating mandate foresees a number of conditions that have to be respected

by such a regime as well as an assessment of its relationship with domestic courts.

There is thus no obligation in this regard: the mandate leaves it open and serves as

a guide.

I had thought my commitment on this point was very clear but I am happy to clarify

and reiterate it here today as a number of you have asked me do so: In the

agreement that my Commission will eventually submit to this House for approval

there will be nothing that limits for the parties the access to national courts or that will

allow secret courts to have the final say in disputes between investors and States.

I have asked Frans Timmermans, in his role as First Vice-President in charge of the

Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to advise me on the matter.

There will be no investor-to-state dispute clause in TTIP if Frans does not

agree with it too.

I am confident that – with your support – we can negotiate an ambitious trade

agreement with the U.S. along these lines, with full respect of European interests

and the rule of law.

Bridging the Investment Gap

"Let me be clear when I say that my Commission, like every Commission before it,

will treat Member States equally. And we will be tough when we need to be tough. It


is time we had a real 'grand bargain', a broad coalition of countries and the

main political parties who will work together on a three pillar structure:

structural reforms, fiscal credibility and investment.

The response to the current economic challenges cannot be top-down. I do not

believe in miracles - there is no magic bullet or growth button to push in Brussels.

Structural reforms, fiscal credibility and investment at national and EU level have to

go hand in hand."

"The level of investment in the EU dropped by just under €500 billion, or 20%, after

its latest peak in 2007. We are facing an investment gap. We have to work to

bridge that gap.

Europe can help make this happen. As you know, I intend to present an ambitious

€300 billion Investment package for Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness.

I will not now tell you all the details of what this package will contain. How can I when

my new Team has yet to even meet to discuss it?

You will just have to have a little faith. You have my word that my College will start

working on this day and night from the moment we take office.

If you give us your support today, we will present the Package before

Christmas. This is not a promise, it is an affirmation."

The First legislative initiatives of the Juncker Commission

"Every day, Europe is losing out by not unlocking the great potential of our huge

digital single market. Jobs that should be there are not being created. Ideas – the

DNA of Europe's economy! – do not materialise to the extent they should. Let us

change this for the better."

"In tomorrow's increasingly competitive world, Europe will only be able to thrive if we

get it right on Energy Union.

In view of the discussions that will take place in the coming days on this, I would

plead with Member States to find an agreement in the European Council so that we

can go to Paris with a clear mandate. We all have to be pulling in the same direction

if progress is to be made."


"Citizens are losing faith, extremists on the left and right are nipping at our heels, our

competitors are taking liberties. It is time we breathed a new lease of life into the

European project.

Huge challenges await us. It is up to us to shape these challenges. If we want a role

to play in the future we have to play it now. It is up to us to ensure that the

handwriting of the European Social Model is clearly visible in everything we do.

Because Europe is the protective shield for all of us who can call this magnificent

continent their home.

I stand here in front of you, in this House that is the beacon of European democracy,

and call upon you to set Europe in motion again."




Jean-Claude Juncker

Statement in the European Parliament plenary session ahead of the

vote on the College

Strasbourg, 22 October 2014

Time for Action

Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés,

Dans un discours que j’ai eu l’honneur de vous présenter en date du 15 juillet, je

vous ai présenté les orientations générales et droits dont dispose le Président

désigné de la Commission sur la base du traité.

Ce ne fut pas un exercice de style: ce fut un exposé de programmes, un exposé de

projets, un exposé de contenus, un exposé d’ambitions.

Les commissaires qui formeront, si vous l’investissez, mon Collège, sont tenus à ces

orientations générales. Je ne demande pas aux commissaires une obéissance

aveugle. Comme je l’ai dit à Bruxelles, lorsque j’ai présenté le Collège : à mon âge,

on ne commence pas une carrière de dictateur. Je voudrais que les commissaires

se sentent libres. On a demandé au Président désigné de la Commission de tout

faire pour composer un Collège politique, alors respectez le fait que les

commissaires aient des opinions politiques et alimentent, par leurs réflexions, les

débats au sein de la Commission. J’ai été élu Président de la Commission sur la

base d’un programme qui me lie au Parlement européen. J’ai un contrat avec vous,

Monsieur le Président, et avec le Parlement européen, et je compte respecter les

termes du contrat que j’ai exposés devant vous durant l’été de l’année en cours.

La Commission qui prendra ses fonctions, si vous en êtes d’accord, au 1er

novembre, succèdera à celle de José Manuel Barroso, qui fut Président de

l’institution pendant dix années. Je voudrais rendre ici hommage à José Manuel

Barroso qui fut Président pendant une époque, à vrai dire, difficile. La Commission

Barroso a dû gérer la crise économique et financière et ses conséquences. La

commission Barroso a su intégrer dans les multiples dispositifs communautaires,

treize nouveaux Etats membres. Je considère que José Manuel Barroso a fait un

bon travail et que, très souvent, il fut critiqué d’une façon qui, parfois, m’apparaissait

comme étant pénible. Monsieur Barroso a bien mérité de l’Europe et je voudrais le

remercier pour l’extraordinaire travail qu’il a accompli.

En juillet, je vous avais promis de composer une Commission politique ; je vous

avais dit que la prochaine Commission serait politique, et qu’elle serait très politique;

Ce fut comme un souhait œcuménique que beaucoup d’entre vous ont exprimé. La

Commission n’est pas un attroupement de hauts fonctionnaires anonymes. Les


directeurs généraux, tous compétents, doivent obéir aux commissaires, et non


Donc, j’ai tout fait pour avoir des “poids lourds” désignés membres de la

Commission par les gouvernements et par le Président désigné.

Les hommes et les femmes qui composeront mon Collège, ont exercé des fonctions

importantes dans leurs pays respectifs, des fonctions de haute responsabilité. La

Commission se composera de quatre anciens premiers ministres, de dix-neuf

anciens ministres, de trois anciens ministres des Affaires étrangères, de plusieurs

anciens ministres des Finances, de sept commissaires sortants et de huit

commissaires ayant été membres du Parlement européen. Cela traduit le fait que la

Commission se doit d’être très politique.

Je vous avais promis une Commission plus politique : sa composition dénote qu’elle

sera plus politique que celles qui l’ont précédée. Je vous avais promis en juillet une

Commission plus efficace, là encore, souhait partagé par la plupart de ceux qui

forment cette assemblée. J’ai choisi de réorganiser l’architecture de la Commission.

J’ai fait le choix de nommer, chose qui ne s’était pas faite auparavant, un premier

Vice-président en la personne de Frans Timmermans, que je voudrais saluer tout

particulièrement ce matin.

J’ai fait ce choix parce que je le connais depuis des siècles ; j’ai fait ce choix, aussi

pour apporter à la Commission l’équilibre politique que la désignation des différents

commissaires n’a qu’insuffisamment imposé ; j’ai lu, dans la plupart des journaux

européens, que Frans Timmermans sera ma main droite : j’espère que de temps à

autres, il sera aussi ma main gauche, mais cela sera difficile.

J’ai nommé plusieurs Vice-présidents. J’ai nommé Vice-présidente, puisque le traité

le prévoit, la Haute représentante; j'ai aussi eu l’intention de nommer la commissaire

aux Affaires budgétaires Vice-présidente, puisque l’élaboration et l’exécution du

budget sont en fait horizontaux par nature ; puis, j’avais l’idée de demander aux

anciens Premiers ministres d’exercer les fonctions coordinatrices au sein du

Collège. Les premiers ministres sont habitués à ce difficile métier de coordonner les

travaux des autres. Parfois, ils réussissent, parfois ils ne réussissent pas, mais ils

savent de quoi il s’agit lorsqu’il s’agit de coordonner. Donc, j’ai demandé à ceux qui

furent Premiers ministres d’être Vice-présidents de la Commission. J’ai décidé de

charger Frans Timmermans de l’application du principe de subsidiarité, la

dérégulation, comme on dit en français ; C’est une affaire importante. Nous avions

dit, et nous avions promis aux électeurs et aux citoyens européens de faire de

l’Europe une machine, une instance, une ambition, une fabrique, qui s’occuperait

des grands problèmes et qui délaisserait les petits sujets qui trouvent mieux réponse

dans les pays membres respectifs et au niveau des collectivités locales. Monsieur

Timmermans veillera aux principes de la better regulation. Lourd travail, qui

concernera tous les commissaires, puisque tous les commissaires doivent participer

à cet effort de redressement de l’Union européenne, de ses réflexes et

comportements politiques. J’ai décidé de charger Frans Timmermans, également,

du développement durable : ambition importante, projet qui porte loin, souci qu’il faut

avoir au quotidien. Je ne pouvais pas suivre en ses propositions, votre commission

de l’environnement qui voulait que la compétence « développement durable » soit

attribuée au Vice-président en charge de la croissance et des investissements : j’ai

choisi de demander à Frans Timmermans de prendre soin de cet aspect

particulièrement important de notre action collective, parce que déjà la charte des


droits fondamentaux, observation de laquelle dépendra une bonne partie du travail

de Monsieur Timmermans, prévoit déjà le respect du développement durable, tout

comme l’article 3 du traité le prescrit.

Les Vice-présidents que j’ai choisis seront en charge des priorités de la Commission

que je vous avais exposées en juillet de cette année. Un Vice-président sera en

charge de l’Union de l’énergie, dans toutes ses dimensions, y compris les énergies

renouvelables et alternatives. Un Vice-président sera en charge de la croissance et

de l’investissement ; un Vice-président sera en charge du marché numérique

européen ; et un Vice-président sera en charge de l’euro et du dialogue social. Ce

ne sont pas de petits chefs, qui instruiraient les autres commissaires. Les

commissaires de la Commission sont égaux en droits : ce sont des Vice-présidences

de projets, des coordinateurs, des animateurs, des rassembleurs, des organisateurs

d’idées et d’initiatives. J’ai noté, pendant les auditions parlementaires et dans la

partie vertueuse de l’opinion publique publiée, beaucoup de doutes et beaucoup

d’interrogations au sujet de ces animaux inconnus que sont des Vice-présidents

coordinateurs des travaux de la Commission. J’ai été surpris de devoir lire cela. Tout

le monde m’avait dit que la Commission devait fonctionner de manière plus efficace.

Tout le monde, ou presque s’était plaint du fait que le Collège était composé de 28

commissaires, soit un commissaire par pays : ils sont trop nombreux. J’avais le

choix entre une organisation architecturelle revue ou un morcellement des

compétences, de façon à ce que je puisse les distribuer parmi 28 commissaires.

Alors, la question est simple : soit vous voulez 28 commissaires, travaillant chacun

dans leur coin, se vautrant dans l’esprit de clocher, s’occupant de petites

compétences, qui verraient le jour après avoir morcelé et mis en pièces les

compétences qui sont celles de la Commission, soit des commissaires évoluant

sous l’égide amicale de Vice-présidents qui coordonneront leurs travaux. Si vous

vouliez une Commission comme elle fut, vous auriez dû me le dire. Mais si vous

voulez une Commission plus efficace, une Commission qui prenne soin des grandes

ambitions de l’Europe, qui les organise, qui les structure, alors, il n’y a pas d’autre

choix que de charger un certain nombre de Vice-présidents de la mise en application

de grandes priorités politiques de la commission.

Je vais vous donner deux exemples : il y a un Vice-président à l’euro et au dialogue

social et il y a un commissaire aux affaires économiques, financières et fiscales, et

un autre commissaire aux affaires sociales. Puis, il y a le semestre européen. Il est

évident que le Vice-président en charge, doit coordonner les initiatives de la

commissaire aux affaires sociales et du commissaire aux affaires économiques et

financières. Le semestre européen n’est pas un semestre économique et financier.

Le semestre européen, les recommandations pays par pays qu’émettra la

Commission doivent, nécessairement prendre en considération les aspects sociaux

de la construction économique et monétaire de l’Europe.

Il y a tout un débat autour du "Triple A". Tout le monde aime le "Triple A". En fait, au

sein de la zone euro, il reste deux pays auxquels le "Triple A" a été conféré ;

l’Allemagne et le Luxembourg. L’Allemagne a de bonnes chances de le garder et

pour le Luxembourg, cela reste à voir. Mais je voudrais que l’Union européenne

retrouve et se dote d’un autre "Triple A". Moi, je voudrais que l’Europe ait le "Triple

A" social: le "Triple A" social est aussi important que le "Triple A" économique et


Nous avons désigné un Vice-président à la croissance et à l’investissement. Il

coordonnera l’action de tous les commissaires qui contribueront à la politique de


croissance et d’investissement ; la commissaire aux transports, le commissaire à

l’économie numérique, encore une fois le commissaire aux affaires économiques et

financière et fiscales le commissaire en charge des affaires sociales et de l’emploi,

le commissaire en charge de la mise ne place du marché unique et des capitaux, la

commissaire en charge du marché intérieur et ainsi de suite.

Si nous voulons présenter aux Européens, et donc d’abord au Parlement, un paquet

d’investissements ambitieux, il faudra que quelqu’un l’organise. Et comme il y a

plusieurs compétences qui doivent être fusionnées, comme il y a plusieurs

commissaires qui doivent faire confluer vers le centre, leurs différentes politiques, il

est évident qu’un Vice-président devra coordonner les travaux. Je veux mettre fin

aux silos, je veux mettre fin à ce mode de gouvernance qui veut que chaque

commissaire travaille dans son coin ; je veux mettre fin à la mentalité de clocher que

l'on peut distinguer bien souvent en observant les travaux de la Commission.

J’attire votre attention sur un aspect que pratiquement aucun commentateur n’a

relevé : le grand perdant de cette nouvelle architecture, c’est moi… Pour la simple

raison que j’ai délégué une bonne partie de mes prérogatives présidentielles aux

Vice-présidents. On ne peut pas mettre en place des Vice-présidences de projets si

le Président continue à évoluer à la tête de la Commission come tel fut le cas

jusqu’à présent. Mais je voudrais dire ici que pour qu’un point soit mis à l’ordre du

jour de la Commission, je veux d’abord avoir l’agrément et l’accord du Vice-président

en charge de la coordination. Mais celui, je voudrais le dire sans menace, qui

délègue ses prérogatives, peut, s’il le faut, aussi les reprendre. Pour le reste, les

Vice-présidents sont en charge des travaux qui, jusqu’à présent, furent la

prérogative du Président de la Commission.

Je vous avais promis, en juillet, de veiller à ce que la nouvelle Commission se

compose d'un nombre suffisant de femmes : nous avons neuf commissaires

féminines, soit le même nombre que celui qui caractérisa la commission Barroso.

J’ai dû lutter pour voir les gouvernements nationaux me proposer neuf membres

féminins. Fin juillet, deux semaines après vous avoir parlé, nous avions trois femmes

désignées par les gouvernements : j’ai dû convaincre bon nombre de

gouvernements d’envoyer une commissaire femme, et j’ai dû récuser beaucoup de

candidats masculins : je ne vous dirai pas lesquels parce que je ne voudrais pas

mettre dans l’embarras les premiers ministres que j’ai réussi à convaincre de

proposer une femme commissaire. Mais à vrai dire, neuf femmes sur 28

commissaires, cela reste ridicule.

Alors, comme nous faisons tous partie, en principe, de partis politiques nationaux,

comme en principe, nous tous, nous connaissons nos premiers ministres,

commencez dès demain matin à sensibiliser les gouvernements nationaux à cette

question. Et je suis un peu gêné de devoir vous dire cela, parce que le Luxembourg

n’a pas désigné une femme. Il le fera sans doute la prochaine fois, puisque Mme

Reding fut commissaire pendant quinze années.

Je vous avais dit, mes chers amis, lors du débat que nous avons eu en juillet, que

j’allais écouter attentivement les hearings. Comment ne pas écouter des hearings?

J’ai suivi avec intérêt, je dois dire, variable, les auditions parlementaires, 29 au total.

Je vous avais dit en juillet que la Commission n’est pas le secrétaire général du

Conseil européen ni du Conseil des ministres et que je ne serais pas le valet du

Parlement européen. J’ai aussi écouté ce que vous avez dit et j’ai cru bon de tirer un

certain nombre de conséquences des auditions qui se sont déroulées sous nos


yeux. La commissaire proposée par la Slovénie a dû être échangée par une autre

commissaire slovène et j’ai décidé de lui attribuer le portefeuille important des

transports. Comme je ne voulais pas remettre en cause l’architecture de base de la

Commission, j’ai choisi de nommer Monsieur Šefčovič en charge de l’Union de

l’énergie puisqu’au cours des années écoulées, il fut déjà Vice-président et a donc

une idée de ce que peut représenter le travail de coordination que je lui demande

d’effectuer. Je vous ai déjà dit que j’ai proposé à mon ami Frans Timmermans

d’enrichir son portefeuille par toutes les politiques liées au développement durable.

J’ai écouté avec beaucoup d’attention tous ceux qui se sont plaints du fait que

j’avais désaffecté les compétences en matière de médicaments et des produits

pharmaceutiques en les faisant passer du portefeuille du commissaire à la santé

vers celui en charge du marché intérieur. Je n'avais pas l’idée – et ceux qui me

connaissent le savent pertinemment – que les médicaments, les produits de santé et

l’activité médicale elle-même, seraient une marchandise comme une autre : la santé

n’est pas une marchandise. Et donc, sensible à l’appel qui me fut lancé de remettre

de l’ordre dans cette distribution des compétences, - ce fut un souhait exprimé

durant les auditions parlementaires, ce fut un souhait largement repris par une

bonne partie des professions médicales – j’ai décidé de réaffecter ces compétences

au commissaire à la santé.

La politique de l’espace, à mes yeux, est un domaine prometteur. Il m’a semblé plus

adéquat de charger la commissaire en charge du marché intérieur des politiques de

l’espace, comme tel fut le cas lors des compositions des Commissions précédentes.

La citoyenneté, oui, j’ai suivi vos débats sur cette question et j’ai été sensible à un

certain nombre de remarques qui traduisent un malaise et j’ai donc choisi d’attribuer

le dossier de la citoyenneté au commissaire en charge de la migration et des affaires

intérieure, compétence à partager évidemment avec la commissaire à la justice. J’ai

ajouté au dossier de Monsieur Navracsics, les sports.

Finally, Mr. President, I took note of the intense debates surrounding investors-tostate

dispute settlements in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership

negotiations. Let me once again state my position clearly, which I had set out on 15

July in front of this house and which you will find in my political guidelines: I will not

accept that the jurisdiction of courts in the EU Member States be limited by special

regimes for investors-to-state disputes. The rule of law and the principle of equality

before the law must also apply in this context. The negotiating mandate foresees a

number of conditions that have to be respected by such a regime as well as an

assessment of its relationship with domestic courts. There is thus no obligation in

this regard: the mandate leaves it open and serves as a guide. I had thought my

commitment on this point was very clear but I am happy to clarify and reiterate it

here today as a number of you have asked me do so: In the agreement that my

Commission will eventually submit to this House for approval there will be nothing

that limits for the parties the access to national courts or that will allow secret courts

to have the final say in disputes between investors and states.

I have asked Frans Timmermans, once again, in his role as First Vice-President in

charge of the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to advise me on

the matter. There will be no investor-to-state dispute clause in TTIP if Frans does not

agree with it too. I am confident that – with your support – we can negotiate an

ambitious trade agreement with the U.S. along these lines, with full respect of

European interests and the rule of law. I am strongly committed to the ambition of

concluding a trade agreement with the U.S. but I have promised to this Parliament


during the campaign that I will be attentive to European rules. We have to negotiate

with the Americans. Frans will lead this agreement to its end, but I wanted to be as

clear as possible on this very issue.

Herr Präsident, ich rede jetzt in der Sprache des Weltmeisters – obwohl der

Weltmeister, zur Zeit eine erkennbare Formschwäche hat.

Der Präsident denkt, das war eine vorübergehende Schwäche. Auch Deutsche

müssen sich daran gewöhnen können, dass Sie dauerhaft schwächer sein könnten.

Ich möchte einige zusätzliche Erklärungen abgeben zu einigen Fragen, die in der

Debatte der letzten Woche eine hervorgehobene Rolle gespielt haben.

Ich hatte im Juli versprochen, ich würde ein 300 Milliarden Euro schweres

Investitionspaket vorlegen. Investitionen sind lebenswichtig für die europäische

Volkswirtschaft und für die Menschen, die in Europa leben und arbeiten. Europa

leidet zurzeit an einem starken Investitionsrückgang von über 20% im Schnitt ¬ im

direkten Vergleich mit dem Vorkrisenjahr 2007, 36% Investitionsrückgang im

Portugal, 64% Investitionsrückgang in Griechenland. Volkswirtschaften, in denen

nicht investiert wird, können nicht wachsen. Und Volkswirtschaften die nicht

wachsen, können keine Beschäftigung sicherstellen. Dieses Investitionsprogramm

liegt mir sehr am Herzen. Ich möchte hier in aller Deutlichkeit sagen, dass alle

Versuche, die inzwischen selbstverständlich gestartet wurden, um mich von diesem

Vorhaben abzubringen, nicht fruchten werden: ich werde dieses

Investitionsprogramm vorlegen.

Dieses Investitionsprogramm kann nicht durch weitere Schulden finanziert werden.

Wir müssen dafür Sorge tragen, dass durch intelligentes Einbringen öffentlicher

Geldmittel, Privatinvestitionen angekurbelt werden. Die Wirtschaft muss wissen,

dass auch sie eine Aufgabe in der Gesellschaft zu erfüllen hat. Nicht nur Staaten

sind für die Bekämpfung der Arbeitslosigkeit zuständig, sondern die Wirtschaft ist

mitverantwortlich ihren Teil zu leisten. Ich appelliere deshalb an die europäische

Wirtschaft, ihren Teil beizusteuern, damit sich die Lage auf den europäischen

Arbeitsmärkten verbessert, und damit es zu einem Investitionsfluss kommt, den wir

dringend benötigen, um von der Stelle zu kommen.

Ich werde dieses Investitionsprogramm nicht, wie ursprünglich geplant, in den ersten

drei Monaten meines Mandates vorlegen, sondern der zuständige Vizepräsident

Jyrki Katainen und ich werden es noch vor Weinachten vorlegen. Es besteht Eile

und wir müssen dieser Forderung so schnell wie möglich gerecht werden.

Dieses Investitionsprogramm wird nicht ein Konjunkturprogramm sein, wie man es in

den siebziger Jahren in einigen Mitgliedsstaaten versucht hat, auf den Weg zu

bringen. Konjunkturprogramme sind Strohfeuerprogramme. Was wir brauchen, sind

zielorientierte Investitionen, die mittelfristig zu mehr Wachstum führen: Investitionen,

die die Kraft der europäischen Wirtschaft stärken. Es geht nicht darum einfach Geld

in die Hand zu nehmen, um den Eindruck zu erwecken, man täte etwas. Es geht

darum, Geld zu mobilisieren, um gemeinsam mit dem Privatsektor mittelfristig die

Wachstumskräfte und das Wachstumspotential in der Europäischen Union zu

stärken. Das, sage ich auch deshalb, weil die Hauptaufgabe, die vor uns liegt, die

Bekämpfung der Arbeitslosigkeit ist. Und die Bekämpfung der in vielen unserer

Mitgliedstaaten skandalös hohen Jugendarbeitslosigkeit braucht, nicht nur, aber, vor

allem, die Unterstützung der privaten Wirtschaft.


Im Rahmen dieser Gesamtanstrengungen, müssen wir selbstverständlich auch an

der europäischen Digitalagenda und am digitalen Binnenmarkt arbeiten. Mein

Kollege Günther Oettinger wird sich um dieses wichtige Sachgebiet kümmern. Allein

die Investitionen, die in diesem Bereich getätigt werden müssen, werden einen

Wachstumsschub von etwa 250 Milliarden Euro in den nächsten Jahren zur Folge

haben. Wir werden dieses Projekt umsetzen.

In den letzten Monaten wurde viel über den Stabilitätspakt moniert und diskutiert –

aber wenig nachgedacht. Auch hier möchte ich Klartext sprechen: Ich halte mich an

das - und die Europäische Kommission insgesamt auch –, was der Europäische Rat

am 27. Juni diesbezüglich gesagt hat: die Regeln werden nicht geändert. Alle 28

Regierungen waren sich im Juni ausnahmslos einig, dass das Regelwerk nicht

angetastet wird.. Aber das Regelwerk wird sehr wohl mit der gewissen Flexibilität

angewandt, die die einschlägigen Vertragstexte und andere Rechtstexte vorsehen.

Wir werden tun, wozu der Europäische Rat uns aufgefordert hat; wir werden tun,

was ich bereits am 15. Juli vor diesem Haus gesagt habe: Haushaltsdisziplin muss

sein, Flexibilität muss sein und Strukturreformen müssen sein. Ohne

Strukturreformen, die dauerhaft zu einer Belebung der europäischen Wirtschaft und

der europäischen Arbeitsmärkte führen, kann es keine Flexibilität geben.

Aber ich möchte auch einigen Kollegen nahelegen, sich von der Vorstellung zu

verabschieden, dass nur eine überzogene Austerität und eine exzessive Sparpolitik

automatisch zu einer Wiederbelebung der Wachstumskräfte und der

arbeitsmarktpolitischen Impulse führen. Es ist umgekehrt auch nicht so, das Defizite

und hohe Schuldenstände automatisch zu Wachstum führen. Wenn es so wäre,

dass hohe Defizite und Schuldenstände zu Wachstum führten, dann müsste Europa

wachsen wie noch nie in seiner Geschichte, denn wir hatten noch nie so viele

Schulden zu verantworten, wie es heute der Fall ist. Aber zu denken, dass

Haushaltskonsolidierung allein wachstumsfördernd ist, ohne von der notwendigen

Flexibilität und den notwendigen Strukturreformen und Investitionen begleitet zu

werden, ist ebenso falsch. Wir brauchen deshalb beides: Haushaltsdisziplin und

wachstumsorientierte Politik in Verbindung mit Investitionen, damit wir uns, mit der

gebotenen Geschwindigkeit, in die Zukunft bewegen können.

Finalement, j’ai observé, Mesdames et Messieurs, que beaucoup d’interrogations

sont nées autour de ce que j’ai dit en juillet en matière d’élargissement. J’ai nommé

un commissaire à la politique de voisinage et aux négociations d’adhésion. Un

certain nombre de vos commissions ont proposé de renommer ce portefeuille en le

nommant “commissaire au voisinage et à l’élargissement”. J’ai choisi, après un

débat méticuleux, d’abord avec moi-même, puis avec un certain nombre de mes

amis, de nommer ce portefeuille “commissaire aux négociations d’élargissement”.

Moi, je ne veux pas tromper les gens, ni les peuples: ne donnez pas l’impression à

ceux qui sont pays candidats, qu’ils pourraient devenir membres de l’Union

européenne au cours des cinq années à venir. Il n’y aura pas de nouveaux membres

durant le mandat de cette Commission: ce n’est strictement pas faisable.

Alors, ne racontons pas d’histoires. Ne faisons pas croire à ceux qui attendant

l’adhésion que celle-ci pourrait intervenir au cours des cinq années à venir. Bien

évidemment, les négociations d’élargissement continueront avec le même élan,

avec la même verve, avec le même engagement que tel fut le cas jusqu’à présent.

Et je voudrais saluer les pays candidats à l’adhésion à l’Union européenne en leur

disant que, oui, les négociations seront accélérées s’il le faut, mais il n’est pas

réaliste de considérer qu’elles pourraient être menées à bon port d’ici 2019.


Enfin, il y a un autre problème qui me tracasse et qui vous tracasse, et qui est

scandaleux: ce sont les factures non payées de l’Union européenne.

C’est un vieux problème. Monsieur Verhofstadt, avec qui j’ai été ministre du Budget,

déjà, à l’époque, au Conseil du budget, nous avions découvert les factures non

payées: l’Union européenne, pour être crédible, ne peut pas être un mauvais

payeur. L’Union européenne doit honorer ses engagements.

Voilà, Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, les quelques

éclaircissements que je voulais apporter à nos débats et à vos interrogations qui

furent multiples.

Nous évoluons dans un contexte international qui nous montre, jour après jour, que

nous vivons dans un monde de plus en plus dangereux. Le mouvement que l’on

appelle l’Etat islamique est l’ennemi des valeurs européennes: nous ne pouvons pas

accepter de tels agissements.

La crise d’Ebola demande une réaction forte, rapide, organisée et concentrée de

l’Union européenne: je n’ai pas l’impression que nous ayons été à la hauteur quand

il s’est agi de lutter contre cette épidémie.

Je constate, avec une énorme tristesse, que tant que le phénomène frappait le seul

continent africain, nous n’avons rien fait. Le jour où l’épidémie est arrivée en Europe,

nous nous sommes mis en mouvement: il aurait fallu nous mettre en mouvement


Les problèmes liés à la migration illégale restent entiers. J’ai demandé à l’ancien

ministre des affaires étrangères de la Grèce et à l’ancien ministre grec de la défense

de prendre en charge ce dossier, tout comme j’ai demandé au commissaire

chypriote en charge de l’aide humanitaire de se rendre le plus rapidement possible

en Afrique pour marquer la présence sur place de la Commission européenne. Les

problèmes liés à la migration illégale et à la migration légale, seront traités comme

de véritables priorités par la Commission qui, j’espère, entrera en fonction au 1er


Je redis ce que j’ai déjà dit en juillet: je voudrais que nous redécouvrions les vertus

de la méthode communautaire. Je voudrais que cette Commission et ce Parlement

se fassent les chantres, les artisans et les architectes d’une redécouverte de la

méthode communautaire.

La méthode intergouvernementale, dans l’urgence et sur le moment, a ses vertus,

mais je crois au triangle vertueux entre le Parlement, le Conseil et la Commission et

je voudrais que nous redécouvrions cette méthode.

Je vous ai dit que nous nous sentons liés par un contrat élaboré pour une durée de

cinq années avec votre Parlement. La première instance de référence de la nouvelle

commission sera le Parlement. Le Parlement qui a fait en sorte, que les

conséquences normales, naturelles, du scrutin du 27 mai, de l’expression du

suffrage universel, soient tirées.

Je concède que, parmi nous, il y a ceux qui n’étaient pas en faveur de voir les partis

politiques présenter des têtes de liste. Cela fut fait et je vous le dis aujourd’hui, je le

dis surtout à ceux qui n’ont pas aimé ce processus: vous ne reviendrez pas làdessus.


En 2019, la campagne électorale européenne sera une véritable campagne

paneuropéenne et tout le monde saura, avant de se rendre aux urnes… La

démocratie est aussi européenne, elle est continentale et, en devenant plus

démocratique, l’Europe n’enlève rien à l’importance des Etats et à l’importance des

nations… Des nations, qui, je le répète, ne sont pas des inventions provisoires de

l’histoire : elles sont faites pour durer et l’Europe doit respecter les nations et les

Etats membres. On ne construit pas l’Europe contre les nations, qui ont leurs

traditions, leurs vertus, leurs richesses, leurs raisons d’être. On ne construit pas

l’Europe contre les Etats membres, mais avec les bonnes volontés que nous

rencontrons partout en Europe, au niveau de la société civile, au niveau de nos

sociétés, au niveau de nos Etats membre, au niveau de nos parlements nationaux.

Je vais vous dire ma conviction: ma conviction est que cette Commission sera la

Commission de la dernière chance: soit nous réussissons à rapprocher les citoyens

européens de l’Europe, soit nous échouons. Soit nous réussissons à faire de

l’Europe un ensemble politique qui s’occupe des grandes choses et qui délaisse les

petites choses, soit nous échouons. Soit nous réussissons de concert avec les Etats

membres, avec les gouvernements, avec les parlements, avec les partenaires

sociaux, à réduire dramatiquement le niveau du chômage, soit nous échouons. Soit

nous redonnons une perspective aux jeunes Européens, soit nous aurons échoué.

Je voudrais que nous saisissions cette chance pour faire bouger l’Europe : l’Europe

le mérite et je compte sur vous, Monsieur le Président, Mesdames, Messieurs, pour

appuyer la Commission dans ses multiples tâches qui sont devant nous, qui sont

devant vous et qui sont devant les Européens.

Je vous remercie de votre attention soutenue


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